Deadline: Ohio Attorney General Seeks To Declare Google A Public Utility In New Lawsuit

Deadline: Ohio Attorney General Seeks To Declare Google A Public Utility In New Lawsuit. “The attorney general of Ohio is asking a state court to declare Google a public utility, something that would subject the search giant to extensive government regulation. The lawsuit (read it here) was filed by Dave Yost, a Republican, and reflects the party’s shift from traditional stances opposed to government regulations, as he and a number of lawmakers have targeted big tech.”

CNN: Biden administration unveils effort to strengthen cybersecurity of power grid

CNN: Biden administration unveils effort to strengthen cybersecurity of power grid. “The Biden administration kicked off a 100-day effort on Tuesday to beef up cybersecurity in the nation’s power grid, calling for industry leaders to install technologies that could thwart attacks on the electricity supply. The move follows a high-profile, if unsuccessful, cyberattack in Florida that sought to compromise a water treatment plant, which highlighted some of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities in America’s critical infrastructure.”

Futurity: Utility Shut-offs, Evictions More Likely For Households Of Color

Futurity: Utility Shut-offs, Evictions More Likely For Households Of Color. “Researchers from the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs surveyed more than 1,800 Americans at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. The survey, which professors Sanya Carley and David Konisky conducted, is the second wave of the ‘Survey of Household Energy Insecurity in Time of COVID.’ In June they released the first batch of data, which both highlighted and foreshadowed significant problems with vulnerable populations’ ability to pay utility bills, put food on their tables, and remain in their homes.”

New Jersey Business: BPU Launches New Public Document Search Tool

New Jersey Business: BPU Launches New Public Document Search Tool. “The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) unveiled its new Public Document Search tool, marking the first phase of its ‘E-Dockets’ project that will provide the public with greater access to official documents filed with the agency. Users can use the new tool to search the database in multiple ways, including by docket number, document title, party of record, or a keyword description, in order to retrieve all public documents filed within a particular docket.”

CNN: Utility shutoffs threaten a fresh crisis for low-income and Black families as Covid surges again

CNN: Utility shutoffs threaten a fresh crisis for low-income and Black families as Covid surges again. “As coronavirus cases surge across the US and states throttle back on economic reopenings, experts and advocacy groups are warning that low-income families could face utility shutoffs as moratoriums on disconnections lift — with Black families especially at risk.”

Gizmodo: 12 Useful Web Tools You Didn’t Know About

Gizmodo: 12 Useful Web Tools You Didn’t Know About. “Google isn’t the only company creating useful apps for the web. There are plenty of great online resources not made in Mountain view, provided you know where to look. Here are 12 of our favorite online apps and websites that are worth collecting in your browser’s bookmarks, ready to go at a moment’s notice, to convert files, enhance photos, make GIFs, pick colors, transfer documents and more besides.” Nifty list!

Searchable Database of California Utility Communications

A new online database provides an archive of e-mail communications between California governor Jerry Brown’s administration and utilities. “In total, the database contains more than 130,000 emails and other documents exchanged between state regulators and utility executives, largely related to the San Bruno explosion, the San Onofre closure and the approval last year of the Carlsbad Energy Center power plant. Much of the material previously was posted on the commission’s website in 2014 and 2015 or released to consumer groups under the public records law. But officials did not make the database searchable.”

An Electric Utility Hit By Ransomware

It reads like the premise for a science-fiction novel: an electric utility hit by ransomware. “While the electricity and water supply are still running in Lansing, MI, Lansing [Board of Water & Light] personnel don’t have access to their corporate server computer files and their telephone system. The attack caused the BWL’s files on its corporate server to become encrypted and some criminal is apparently demanding money for the key to unlock the system.”